“The sole remaining superpower, the indispensible nation, and the leader of the free world,” which had already grown smaller than little England under Brexit, has suddenly become, at the death of a tiny, towering woman, even smaller.
Does the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which could not have come at a worse time, and proves that metaphysical factors are fully in play in our day, signal the end of what was best in America, or the beginning of spiritual and political recovery?
In other words, will the death of this extraordinary human being and Supreme Court Justice rouse the recovery of America’s soul, or is it an even greater loss of it?
There is no one, man or woman, who comes close to RBG’s stature at present and is building on her legacy. So sadly, the few Americans that are not coming from numbness on one hand or hope on the other, irrational hostility on one hand or wishful thinking on the other, have to face the fact that RBG’s death is an unrecoverable loss.
The size of an economy, or the strength of a military, does not determine the greatness of a people, but rather their capacity to hold the challengers of humanity in their hearts and minds, and act for the betterment of humanity.
Not that long ago, “the sun never set on the British Empire.” Those days, thankfully, belong to history, even as the aftereffects of colonialism continue to affect people and peoples, especially in Africa, in very negative ways.
In recent years, Great Britain has become Little England, surrendering to nativist and jingoistic impulses and arrogantly leaving, rather than effectively working to improve the European Union. So let Great Britain become Little England. The Scottish people will have their independence, and Ireland will at last be one people and one island.
As for the United States, the sun has set on the American Empire, whether the monstrous Trump and his cultish following, backed by the rump Republican Party, is defeated in November or not.
Joe Biden may be able to claw back some of the decency, fairness and concern for human rights that the United States formerly, if very imperfectly embodied. However history has moved beyond the American Empire as certainly as it did the British Empire after World War II.
Which brings us to the present, perilous moment. The post-World War II international order, as egregiously flawed as it was, held things together just enough to prevent a third world war, which, given the thousands of nuclear weapons the US and USSR accumulated, could have spelled the end of humankind.
Having defeated communism in Russia, it is beyond ironic that American propaganda has become so Stalinesque. The ‘deep state’ of the Trump
Administration and Fox News, with the complicity of Facebook and other Net amplifiers, firehose the American people daily with lies they call the truth, demanding patriotism as they methodically creep closer toward fascism every week.
George Bush Junior was malignantly prescient when we spoke of an “axis of evil” following the 9.11 attacks. The American cancer is spreading among the body politic of the Western nations, as right-wing extremists in London, Berlin and even Dublin echo antifa and QAnon conspiracies, scapegoating or blatantly inventing enemies for setting real or political wildfires.
Who and what will fill the vacuum of global leadership now that the United States has abdicated its role as leader of the free world? The Chinese Communist Party? Don’t make me laugh.
Will it take a political miracle to stop George Bush’s evilly prophetic international “axis of evil” from continuing to fill the void with predictably disastrous results? There is still time for good people to step up, though time is running very short.
The greatest peril, not just for America but also for the world, will come just before and after the election on November 4. Until this crisis passes, we are beyond the point of reconciliation in the USA. What is necessary is to prepare for the global disaster that many Americans, especially in the Pacific states, feel is coming with the dread of certainty and the certainty of dread.
We cannot wait to see what will happen in the United States. History has moved beyond America and the post-World War II international order. The last strut is about to be kicked out, and we have to begin to pour the foundation for a true global order, within and without, before the old order completely collapses.